In the early morning of a beautiful sunny day in Barcelona, a very interesting young man is sitting at a dining table in a hostel eating his breakfast. He sits alone and devotes all his attention to his book a classic novel ‘On the Road’ written by Jack Kerouac. While he gently turns a page of his book, he notices that he is not sitting alone anymore, but is accompanied by Cultour Magazine. He can now share his thoughts and tell his story about what brings him to Barcelona.
The man is a fresh faced twenty-year-old artsy business and economics student from Boston. His name is Jophes Michael.
“I like to read. This book actually reminds me of myself. All the crazy shit that happens in the story, kind of resemble my own adventures”, Jophes says.
The book is about two main characters Sal Paradise and his friend Dean Moriarty who are very much admired for their carefree, free-spirited attitude and sense of adventure. It is a story about Jazz, travel and drug use. Just like the heroes in the book, Jophes has been traveling and seeking adventure as well.
“I have been traveling for a month through Europe now. Once I ran out of money and so I had to sleep in toilets of restaurants. Other time I painted some of my paintings on the walls of a hostel called FunkNBunk in Budapest. In exchange I could stay a few nights there”, Jophes continues.
Complete rolling station on the back of your phone
Nothing is as it seems with this young man. While he looks like an ordinary 20-year-old student, his life is anything but ordinary. He does not only seek adventures and handles situations creatively, but he also has a creative business project running in Boston besides his study.
“I design iPhone cases that are also suitable for rolling weed. Once my friend was super stoned and I used the back of my iPhone to roll up a new joint for him. That very moment this idea popped into my mind: multifunctional iPhone cases for protection and rolling weed. I drew a design of the phone case and went to the university to print my idea out in a 3D printer. After that I went to some coffee shops to show my concept. I asked the owners if they would sell it. A lot of them where excited about this and told me that they would sell these cases, but I had to have a proper design first”, Jophes explains.
The birth of Irollie
After he got the positive responce of the owners of coffee shops, he told his friends about his idea and asked if they would like to work with him and start a business. Together they could gather money to invest in the iPhone cases and create a proper design, brand, logo and an Instagram account where they could show and sell the product.
“iRollie was born”, Jophes continues.
“Within four months we sold almost eight hundred phone cases. Mostly students were thrilled to have them.”
He takes his iPhone out of his pocket to show what the phone case looks like. It looks like an ordinary green iPhone case from the front. But on the backside there is a hole in the case that is perfectly suitable to keep the weed in the right place. “I have more iRollies with me, in different colors, in case anyone would be interested”, he says excitedly.
After a long conversation about his business he stands up.
”I have to go, this is my last day here so I want to see some bunch of cool stuff before I leave. If you want to hear the rest of the story and want to see how I use my phone case to roll a joint, meet me at six o clock at the Gaudi park”, he says and takes off.
Unfortunately he never said where exactly to meet and forgot to mention that his phone has no signal in Barcelona…
Smoking weed in the Gaudi park
At around six o clock there he was, just like he promised, in the park. He was sitting behind a big old tree, eating strawberries and listening to a guitar play of a street musician.
“How fortunate that we have found each other! This park is really big, chances were not that high that we would find one another”, Jophes cries out.
“This is a good spot to roll up the weed, no one will notice what we’re doing behind this tree”, he says sneakily.
Even though Barcelona is now, next to Amsterdam, the city of drugs. It is still not legal to smoke weed outside coffee shops. Jophes does not seem to care as he takes out his equipment that he needs to roll up his joint: tobacco, weed, rolling paper and his IRollie phone case.
Flipping his phone around he puts it on his lap. He fills the hole on the back of the phone case with the right amount of weed, shakes a bit back and forth in order to put the weed in one fine line. After that he gently lets it slide from the case on the paper and rolls it into the form of a cigarette.
“It is very easy to do it this way, and with this iPhone case you can do it anywhere, anytime.”-
“Are you here in Barcelona for your IRollie business or for pleasure?”, one of the final questions I ask.
“For fun, but I could go to coffee shops in this city and promote my phone cases. It would be pretty cool if I could also sell it in Barcelona.”
On the question about future plans he answers:
“I will definitely continue with my business. I hope that one day stars like Snoop Dog will use Irollie. That would be awesome!”
If you want to see Jophes Irollie’s check his Instagram @irolliephonecases out!